Munich Olympics Massacre Memorial Plans Are Unveiled

11 Israeli Athletes Murdered by Terrorists in 1972

We Are All Munich: The world was united in mourning the victims of the 1972 Olympic massacre.
getty images
We Are All Munich: The world was united in mourning the victims of the 1972 Olympic massacre.

By JTA

Published September 05, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Plans for a memorial in Munich to 11 Israelis and a German police officer murdered at the 1972 Summer Olympics there were unveiled.

Wednesday’s news conference at the Bavarian Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs announcing plans for the memorial took place a day before a ceremony in Israel marking the 41st anniversary of the attack by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.

The planned hall of remembrance is slated to be built near the site that housed the games and will cost 1.7 million euros (approximately $2.25 million). It will allow visitors to learn about the events and the victims — 11 Israeli athletes and coaches along with the police officer — as well as to view the site of the the failed rescue attempt at the Furstenfeldbruck airfield. Ultimately the airport’s tower will be included in the memorial. The memorial is scheduled to be completed by 2016.

“We must not forget the victims,“ Bavarian Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs Ludwig Spaenle said at the news conference.

The memorial was designed by a team under the auspices of the ministry in consultation with relatives of the victims, the consul general of Israel, experts from the concentration camp memorial at Flossenburg, the Jewish Museum in Munich and the Bavarian State Ministry for Political Education.

Spaenle said it also will attempt to address questions about the impact of the attack and the importance of remembrance.

According to a statement from Spaenle’s office, Israeli Foreign Ministry department manager for Western Europe Ilan Ben Dov called the 1972 attack “a trauma for my entire generation.”

“Every Israeli group that comes to Germany as part of a youth exchange and educational cooperation should visit this site,” Ben Dov said in the statement.

As the ceremony in Israel coincides with the Jewish New Year, representatives of Germany’s Jewish community will not be able to attend. But Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Bavarian Jewish community and of its Munich branch, issued a statement on Wednesday praising the memorial effort and the importance of remembering an “attack on all proponents of open, liberal and democratic society.”

Naming all the victims, Knobloch also thanked the state of Bavaria and Germany as a whole for “their recent efforts to ensure a transparent explanation of the events of 1972 and to answer the last remaining questions from family members and Israeli authorities, in cooperation with them.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.